The next to be interviewed was the goldsmith and jeweller, Alderman Jacob West. West was granted his Freedom in 1801 and was elected Alderman in 1821. Until 1815 he was in partnership with John Clarke at 9, Capel Street. The firm of Jacob West (Alderman) & Son was registered with the Company in 1827.
Appendix, No. 95.
Friday, 1st September 1826.
Jacob West Esq., and Alderman of Dublin, called in and examined.
You are carrying on the business of a silversmith in this city ?â€”I am.
Have you done so for a considerable time?â€”For many years.
Have the goodness to inform the Commissioners what are the different rates of duty payable on the manufacture of gold and silver plate in Ireland at present?â€”On silver it is Is., and 1d. touch, that goes to support the expenses of the hall; that is 1s. 1d. British.
For the gold plate, how much ?â€”I do not know exactly what the gold plate is; there is very little manufactured here.
Is there any?â€”Yes ; all the plain rings I make are hall-marked, and occasionally some snuff-boxes; but the amount of duty paid on gold is very trifling.
What allowance is made for the supposed diminution of weight in finishing ?â€”One sixth on silver.
Since when was that ?â€”I think it is above ten years; but there always had been an allowance at the option of the assay master.
Is there much silver plate exported from Dublin ?â€”A good deal goes to England, but there is no record of it, because it is carried over without paying any duty.
Is there any export of silver plate to foreign countries from Ireland ?â€”There is occasionally, but we cannot get the drawback here, and there is Is. an ounce lost; they can get the drawback in England, they can get the whole Is. 6d. back; but in Ireland there is no drawback allowed, so that there is Is. an ounce against us here; if we enter it for England we pay the Is. 6d. and get back the 1s. we pay here.
Do you actually get back the 1s. and afterwards pay the 1s. 6d., or do you pay the additional 6d. in England ?â€”I do not think it has been in operation; I do not think any one has entered goods from this place to England with a view of getting the drawback and paying the duty; but if I enter plate from England, where it pays the Is. 6d. I shall pay no duty, but get a certificate, upon which I get back the 6d.
You are not in the habit of exporting to England ?â€”No, but I know it is done to a considerable extent in spoons.
Without being entered at the Custom House ?â€”Yes.
Do you import from England to a considerable extent ?â€”I do.
If plate made in Ireland were exported from Ireland, would you by law receive a drawback of the 1s.?â€”No; there is no provision for exportation to foreign countries; I have searched for that when persons have wished to purchase plate, and they have been obliged to buy it in England in consequence.
Have you exported much duty-paid plate to foreign countries?â€”I have never exported any, the shilling an ounce prevents it; the Goldsmiths' corporation did apply to the Commissioners of Stamp Duties who have the management now of Goldsmiths' Hall; they said they had no power, nor could they recommend it, but advised the corporation to memorial the Lords of the Treasury to put us on the same footing that England is with regard to exporting plate to foreign countries; they did so six months ago, but no reply has been returned to the corporation that I know of.
Would there be a considerable export to foreign countries if the drawback were allowed ? â€”I do not think there would to any great extent: but still it would be an act of even-handed justice to allow it, because gentlemen going out, officers and others going abroad that are here, I know, have applied to shops in town, saying that they would purchase plate if they could get the drawback, being aware that it is to be obtained on exportation from England; and when they found they could not get a drawback here, they purchased it in England.
What is the mode of paying the duties on the manufacture of plate at present observed in Dublin ?â€”The order is that the plate should be at the hall at ten o'clock in the morning; it is there weighed, and the duty that is to be paid on it handed over to one of the officers of the hall; then it goes through the process of examination, and if it is found to be sterling it is hall-marked and returned; and if it is ordered to be broken for not being sterling, they stop a penny an ounce for the trouble.
Does that frequently happen ?â€”Latterly it has frequently happened, because they changed the standard; we had an erroneous method of calculating our standard here for many years past, for fifty or sixty years; and since the Commissioners of Stamps have had the management of it, they have insisted that we should conform to the Act of Parliament, which of course we were willing to do. Above a year, I believe two years, ago, one day when I was before the Commissioners, I mentioned that I thought we were wrong in not having the same standard as they have in England.
Have you now the same standard ?â€”Yes.
How long is it since that improvement was adopted?â€”In January last, or rather before it.
Was that immediately after the duties were placed under the Commissioners of Stamps ? â€”It was; they have been most attentive to it.
Was it owing to the neglect of the Commissioners of Excise, that the former standard was permitted ?â€”Entirely so; they paid little or no attention to the collection of the duty.
In what state do you usually send your plate to be assayed ?â€”As nearly finished as possible, except the polishing, for it must be scraped; they must scrape it in different parts with sharp tools; then every impression that is made on the silver will require to be taken out, and with a polishing hammer to flatten it in most cases.
Do you uniformly receive the allowance of one-sixth, whatever the state of the finishing the plate may be ?â€”Yes; we are exactly under the same regulation as at the hall in England, for we had an officer from the hall in England to put us on the same footing; except the 6d. an ounce less that we pay here, I do not know that there is any difference.
The one-sixth of course greatly exceeds the actual loss ?â€”No; in some articles I dare say very nearly a sixth comes off, for they have often different flaws; the manufacturers make a little by it no doubt, and it goes into their pockets; the shopkeepers neither here nor in London are manufacturers; there are heads of shops that have men under them, and if I want a quantity of plate I send for one of those manufacturers; one man makes spoons, and another tea-pots, and so on ; and I give him the order and the silver, and he takes it to the hall, puts his name upon it, and is accountable for all being right; a shopkeeper and a manufacturer are not compatible at all together.
Messrs. Rundell and Bridge are shopkeepers and manufacturers too, are they not ?â€”They have tried it, but they do it to a very little extent; whatever we manufacture we are bound to, whether it is badly executed or not, but where we are not bound to the manufacture we may refuse it if it does not suit. I have manufactured more plate under my own name than any other in Dublin, but it is not found advantageous to conduct the manufacturing and keeping a shop too.
Is your own name put upon it ?â€”The maker puts his own name; he sends in to the Goldsmiths' Hall such a mark punch as he puts upon the plate ; they will not take it in unless there is a mark upon it according to that mark punch; he must always be accountable for it in case there is a suspicion of a fraudulent imitation of the mark.
Are any persons who have the management of the assay office in the trade?â€”No; by law they cannot be in the trade; according to our charter they cannot follow any branch of the goldsmith's business.
In point of fact they are not ?â€”No, certainly not.
How do they become acquainted with the business ?â€”They must originally have been manufacturers of either gold or silver.
They must abandon their profession in order to be elected as officers of the Goldsmiths' Company ?â€”Yes.
Are you a member of the Goldsmiths' Hall ?â€”Yes.
Can you be an officer of the Goldsmiths' Hall ?â€”Every member of the Goldsmiths' Company can be master and warden ; in the Goldsmiths' Hall there are but three persons who have been formerly silversmiths, the assay master, deputy assay master, and touch warden; the deputy assay master is allowed Â£70 a year by Government; we appoint him, and the Government confirm it and pay him Â£70 a year, and he is their officer ; but the Commissioners of Stamps wishing to know how every thing goes forward, and to see that the punches are properly taken care of, send an officer of theirs every day to the hall, and he has a key, together with the assay master, of the iron chest in which the punches are kept; he remains there till all the work is finished, and sees the chest locked up again, and sees that every thing is right, that he may report to the Commissioners of Stamps.
The assay office is a part of the Goldsmiths'Hall?â€”There is a charter giving to the Goldsmiths' Company a power of electing officers and managing the collection of the King's duties; we have regulations which are printed, which would show at once the entire management or regulation of the hall, and we gave the Commissioners a copy of our charter; in fact every information that they could require; they came on different days and remained with us during our sittings as a corporation.
What are the members or officers of the Goldsmiths' Hall who are precluded being in the trade?â€”Those belonging to the assay office having the punches, or having any thing to do with the assaying or touching gold or silver, must give up all their business as goldsmiths or silversmiths.
Is the business of the assay office sufficient to give them a maintenance?â€”It keeps them very poorly; the assay master indeed has about Â£300 a year, but the late assay master is still alive, and I believe he gets Â£150 of the late Irish currency out of what the present assay master has, for we have no funds out of which to superannuate him, the deputy assay master has Â£70 a year; the corporation make it a Â£100 new currency ; and the same to the weigher and drawer.
The assay office will consist of retired tradesmen, probably ?â€”Exactly so.
Have you reason to think that the Public are imposed upon by the sale of plate by any part of the trade, either with forged or transposed marks ?â€”There is an impression that there are persons who make up spoons, and other work too, which have a fraudulent hall-mark.
Have you reason to believe that the Assay Office or Goldsmiths Hall take any pains to discover such a fraud ?â€”I do not know that it is possible for them to ascertain it in any way; their time is entirely engaged about their own duties and business there.
Has it never happened that any of the assay officers visit the trade to inspect their work ?â€”Never, without positive information. I have had different meetings with Mr. Cooper, who is the commissioner, who has taken so much pains on the business. We have often consulted how the business could be best managed so as to ascertain as to suspected houses if any thing was considered as going on wrong, but the law is not clearly defined.
What has been the result of your conversations with Mr. Cooper upon that subject; have you come to any conclusion ?â€”We could not come to any conclusion for want of bringing any ostensible person forward who could go to the workshops, and have authority sufficient to get the work ; the Act of Parliament throws it into the hand of the master of the corporation.
Is there any improvement of the law you would suggest for that purpose ?â€”I think the Commissioners of Stamps ought to have power to take one of the officers of the police, and to go to those shops, and take a proper person with them who could ascertain and examine the work, and have power to go through the house, and examine the house generally.
Does not the charter give the Goldsmiths Company power to examine the stock ?â€”The master may have power, and they have power, for they have often exercised it. About two years ago they went through the trade, having got positive information, and took up a good deal of work which was fraudulently hall marked.
Did they proceed against the proprietors ?â€”They forfeited the work; they would have proceeded against the man,â€”we traced it to one particular workmanâ€”but he fled. The present master has no interest, for he is not in the business; he has been a watchmaker; he is acquainted with most of the persons in the trade, and would not like to go into shops in that unpleasant capacity. The wardens are more or less interested perhaps in concealing; perhaps some of the articles may be traced into their own shops ; they may be shopkeepers.
Is it customary to expose plate for sale before it is marked ?â€”No ; I have not known that to be done since the Act passed by Mr. Forster.
There is only one assay office in all Ireland ?â€”Only one ; that is quite sufficient.
Is there any manufacture of plate in any other part of Ireland ?â€”A great deal comes from Cork ; no other place.
Is not it extremely inconvenient for them to send up their plate to be marked ?â€”They made an application ten or twelve years ago for an office at Cork; they were directed to point out what they would pay the officers, and it was found that the whole duty which it was probable would be paid there would not pay the officers, and unless they are well paid there is too much temptation to intrust a power of having an assay office.
What sum was considered to be the minimum of what would be sufficient to support an assay office?â€”I think Â£400 a year to pay house-rent and taxes, and the other expenses attending it; Â£400 is the very lowest.
Is Cork the only place where there is any manufacture of plate to any extent besides Dublin ?â€”No plate is manufactured in Ireland, except in Dublin and Cork.
Have you reason to suppose there are any evasions of the duty so far as the manufacture of Cork is concerned ?â€”I have no reason to believe there is.
Is there any export of plate from Cork ?â€”Nothing but what officers or persons going abroad may purchase for their own table ; not in the ordinary way of export.
Are there many venders of plate in Cork?â€”I dare say there are four. I think there are but two manufacturers in Cork.
You do not consider the trade carried on to any great extent in Ireland ?â€”It is not.
Can you form an estimate of the quantity of plate manufactured in Ireland ?â€”No; I have often had it before me, but I cannot recollect the quantity; at present there is very little ; it is all to be found at the Stamp Office, and at Goldsmiths Hall.
That would show all on which duty was paid ?â€”Yes; and that is all which is manufactured, unless that there are petty spoon makers who manufacture and send them over to Liverpool. I told Mr. Cooper of this, and he said he would send over to Liverpool, and make purchases of some Irish hall-marked spoons there to ascertain it; but it is impossible almost to tell, for the stamp is not put on so well as it ought to be; in the finishing it is so defaced that it would be difficult to ascertain whether it was a real hall-mark, or a forgery on spoons and small articles; and indeed I think the hall-mark upon all our plate is deficient in that respect, that it is not legible.
Is that a fault in the dies ?â€”Yes.
Are they renewed annually?â€”Yes, they are; it is the fault of the dies, and I think a good deal the fault of the manufacture. I speak from the comparison with England.
What is the defect of the manufacture of plate ?â€”Touching it at all if it can be avoided after it is done; in the bottoms of tea-pots and so on it need never be done, for it does not affect the eye, but I think they do not finish them exact, or they attempt to finish them afterwards, and polish them where the hall marks have been put upon much more than they do in England.
Have you reason to suppose that the manufacturers are in the habit of carrying to the assay office parts of intended articles, getting them stamped, and then finishing the articles with other parts; suppose a pair of spectacles, for instance, consisting of three or four pieces, may they not get one piece stamped, and then sell the whole under the protection of that one stamp ?â€”No; I do not think such a thing could happen here; in the first instance, there is very little made in Ireland ; it is got in a great measure from England ; and the officers of the assay office are very particular to see the entire of it, and to stamp the whole; if they send a tea-pot without a handle and button, they would ask where they were, and if they said it was wood, they must bring the wood and show it.
Is the greatest part of the plate manufactured in Ireland exported or used in the country ? â€”Used in the country.
Is the manufacture of plate increasing or decreasing ?â€”Just according to the times; the last spring there was a great deal manufactured and brought to the hall , it usually falls off in summer, but there has been less this summer sent to the hall, than any summer I recollect.
An officer from Goldsmiths Hall in England came to Ireland a short time ago; Mr. Wintle ? â€”Yes; he exerted himself very much to put us all to rights.
What are the improvements he introduced ?â€”In the first instance, we wanted new scales and weights, which he recommended, and we got; we made alterations in regard to the fuel which was used; we get our charcoal now from Bristol, which we use in place of turf; turf was supposed to have some metallic properties in it, which did not enable us to assay correctly.
Could not you get Irish charcoal ?â€”We could, and had got it; but we found it better to get it from Bristol; and the bone-ash which they had used here was of a porous quality, not good; and the shape of the cupples on which the article is placed was not such as they found from experience the best in London; and he got over a quantity of that also; and another was with regard to the lead; our lead was merely the common lead we purchase any where, that always contains a certain portion of silver. I have got both lead and bone-ash over from London, the same which the assay office in London use, which contains no particle of silver; and he brought over the regulations of the assay office in London, and we have conformed exactly to the management and regulations of the London Assay Office.
Did Mr. Wintle detect any frauds ?â€”I do not think that he brought home any; he had suspicions, but I do not think he made any actual discovery of fraud that could be brought home; but for some time after we commenced on the new standard according to law the assay master was not exactly acquainted with it; for want of the bone-ash, and for want of lead and other articles, our silver that would be reported as standard here, and hall-marked here, would be reported in London two or three pennyweights worse than in London; and Mr. Wintle, under the directions of Mr. Cooper, did make repeated trials; he purchased articles hall-marked in Dublin, sent them to London, and found they would not have been hall-marked in London; then, when we got the new scales, and bone-ash and lead, I think we are now brought exactly to the standard.
Has the experiment been made by sending any articles to London ?â€”It has.
Do the Goldsmiths Company here send their diet to the Mint in London ?â€”No; that regulation has not been followed up ; I believe the assay master, who is acting under the direction of Mr. Cooper and the commissioner, has for some time past kept the diets, and gives the manufacturer the weight of them, by which they can establish a pix.
Is it your belief that no plate is imported from Liverpool or any other English port into Ireland, on which the duty has not been fully paid ?â€”I do not think there is an ounce comes into this country, but the full duty is paid upon it in England; it would be from respectable manufacturers only that plate could be imported.
There is a great deal of plate manufactured in Liverpool ?â€”They have a hall at Chester; but very little is manufactured at Chester; it is manufactured at Liverpool. They have halls also at Sheffield, Birmingham, and London; they have a hall also at Bristol, but very little comes from thence.
Do you find it more advantageous to buy English manufactured plate than Irish ?â€”In many articles I do, where there are dies used; the die of a waiter, perhaps, would cost me Â£20, and that die will answer to the manufacturer in London to make many from; whereas if it was here there might not be as many sold as that the amount of profit would pay for the die.
Do you think an alteration of the rate of duty would materially affect the sale of plate in Ireland ?â€”If taxes are to be taken off, it would be, in my opinion, better to take off the sixpence in England, and to leave both countries alike. But if the sixpence is put on here it could not make any great difference; it would produce very little. I think they would get as much duty in the hall in London, by having it a shilling an ounce, as one-and-sixpence; there would be less temptation to commit fraud; and I am sure much more fraud is committed in England than here.
What is the particular sort of fraud in London which you suspect?â€”I am sure there is a vast quantity of plate made in England that goes to the Jews shops, and is sold as secondhand, that never has been to the hall; and there are articles with bottoms which have been stamped, which are put in.
Can you point out by what means that could be prevented ?â€”Only by the officers visiting the shops; but then they will say that they purchased it second-hand. Gentlemen tell me that they get such and such articles at six shillings an ounce; if they do get them at that price, I am satisfied they have never been stamped; they are sold as second-hand, and they say that they have lent money upon them.
Do the stamp duties attach to the same articles in Ireland as in England?--Yes.
The exemptions also are the same?--Just the same. If the excess of duty on glass were taken off, it would be a good thing. I believe the goods going from this to Liverpool may be opened and searched ; that certainly does away the advantage we expected from the coasting trade. I got over some plated goods from England, those were articles I could not sell here and I returned them, and part of them were articles on which the duty had been paid as plated ware, for I had them before the duties were taken off; but three months ago they seized the cask because it had some glass cruets in it, to ascertain whether they were liable to duty, whether it was glass going over to England which had not paid the duty. I dare say it was two months before they were released. Packages are opened that are landed in Liverpool, and examined by officers, and there is no such thing takes place here nor at Holyhead ; it prevents the carrying fully into execution the system of the coasting trade.
Does Irish manufactured glass pay the duty in England ? â€” Yes ; there is a duty both in England and in Ireland ; they do not now search for spirits, for that is entered on paying a duty ; if the difference of duty on plate and glass was done away, it would be a great benefit; if it was a shilling in both countries, and Ireland had a demand for the drawback on export, it would be better ; the want of these things prevents the completion of the Act of Union.
Have you found any benefit in your trade from the recent abolition of the union duties? â€” A considerable benefit ; the best proof is, that there has not been a manufacturer since the duty was taken off without employment, any more than there was previously to it; there the thing to be apprehended was the persons being out of employment, but no man has been out of employment who thought proper to work.
You refer to your own business ? â€” Yes ; the jewellers and silversmiths have all had full employment. The intercourse now is rendered so complete that we can get immediately from England any thing we may require; we get things over in four days now; we get over parts of the manufacture which are well done in England.
Are those detached parts stamped before they are sent from England ? â€” No ; when I get over parts from England I had other parts here, and it is all stamped together.
There is no declaration that it is Irish manufacture? â€” No ; it is no matter to the government which it is.
Is it not an infringement of the law to export from England articles which have not paid the duty? â€” No; the article is not finished ; it must be stamped here; there is no more difference than if a piece of plate was manufactured in Sheffield and sent to Birmingham to be finished.
Do you conceive that under the law what you term unfinished plate can be exported from England without being first subjected to the duty? â€” I do; as much as it might be carried from one part of London to another ; ultimately it must pay the duty ; there can be no injury to the revenue, for if it paid the duty of Is. 6d. in London, we should get back the 6d. extra; the object in all cases is to protect the revenue.
You mean that if it is ultimately to be sold in Ireland, it is immaterial whether it pays the English duty, and the drawback is allowed, or whether it is stamped in the first instance here ? â€” Certainly the Crown does not lose by it : it is the same to the revenue. If there were protecting duties, or if we had two exchequers, and the two were put to two accounts, that would be another thing ; but there being one revenue, it comes to the same thing.
It comes to the same thing, unless it were to be sent back to England ? â€” There is the opening to fraud. I could send for goods from England, get the drawback on those goods, and then send them back again, and that is one reason why I think the duties in the two countries ought to be alike. I could import an article that I bought at Liverpool, obtain the drawback, send it back by Holyhead, where it would not be opened, then bring it over again from Liverpool, and get the 6d. an ounce upon it again, entering it each time for the drawback. The Jews have done that, I have been informed, to an immense extent; it was found that there were more plain rings reported to have had drawback got upon them in England than were actually stamped at the hall ; but then they got the whole duty upon them.
What would be the drawback on Irish plate exported to any foreign port? â€” There is no drawback on Irish stamped plate, and that prevents our having an export trade.
Supposing Irish plate were exported from England, could a drawback be claimed for that? -â€”That will have paid the additional duty on going into England.
Would Irish plate be seizable in England, unless it had paid the additional duty ? â€” I think it would be if it was sent over to be sold in England. If a person went to a silversmith's shop, and found spoons having the Irish hall mark, I think the shopkeeper might be called upon to show that they had paid the additional 6d. in England.
You have not known an instance of a seizure under such circumstances ? â€” No, I have not.
You have no doubt that Irish plate is sold in Liverpool ? â€” I have no doubt of it.
You believe it is sold without paying the additional duty ? â€” Yes ; articles of that kind may be carried over in a carpet bag, or in any way without observation, and that is another reason why I think that when it is looked into it will be found that it will be better to have the duty the same here as in England, and not to require entry any more than any other article, because that is a part of the old system still kept up, and which in case of the assimilation would be unnecessary.
Are not the plate manufacturers in Cork subject to a considerable inconvenience in sending their plate up to Dublin to be stamped? â€” Merely the expense of the carriage.
Must they not have an agent in Dublin to receive it ? â€” No ; it goes directly to Goldsmith's Hall, directed to the assay master; he opens it, and regulates every thing for them, and the package is made up and returned again without any expense or trouble.
That is a regulation for the benefit of the distant manufacturers ?â€”Yes ; and they never sustained any loss; it is merely the expense of a few shillings for the carriage.
You have no branch of your establishment in any part of the country except Dublin ?â€” No.
There is a great deal of gold and silver coming into this country, is there not ?â€”There has been a good deal coming in from America in dollars; there is a great dulness at present.
What is the price of silver at present ?â€”I am now giving for the old Irish sterling, 4s. 7d. an ounce British, I am giving 4s. 4d. for Spanish dollars, and 4s. 8d. for English sterling.
What has occasioned the influx of silver in this country ?â€”I think there is a good deal has come in from Newfoundland; a good many Americans come here for linen, and dollars are occasionally brought in for other matters.
The Bank of Ireland object to taking in a large quantity of silver, do they not ?â€”They do; and I do think it would serve the trade of this country if there was a place where any foreigner bringing coin here could get an established rate for it, and not be at the mercy of the trade. In England there is only about a farthing an ounce difference between the bank price and the brokers prices. If they go to the refiners they get within a farthing an ounce in silver, and I believe, not more than three-pence an ounce in gold, of what they could get at the bank ; they can always count upon the fair value: here they are at the mercy of the trade: if the trade is brisk, and silver is wanted, they do not care about a penny or two-pence an ounce; but if they do not want it for the purposes of trade, they give so much less, because they must then send it to London, and there is the expense of the carriage of it. I sent a hundred ounces of bank tokens over to London last week: a great many people had some of them; the 6s. tokens; it is unpleasant that they have not any place where they can part with them at the fair rate: I sent over to see whether I could get a proper price for them, and I found I could not give them more than 4s. 4d. an ounce for them; that was a great loss.
That price puts the bank tokens on the same footing as the Spanish dollars ?â€”Yes; they were made from Spanish dollars -, if any thing, the dollars would be more valuable to have, for we could sell them to persons going out to America, whereas the others must be melted. The Bank of Ireland is not in the same situation relatively to the public as the Bank of England ?â€”The directors, I believe, conceive that by their charter they cannot do any act which would be considered a trading act; that they are concluded by their charter, and they do not purchase. If a glut came in here, our capital would be all gone; there is no means of realizing the value, so as to go on buying, unless I send over to London. Unless I replenished my means, I could not continue to purchase; but in England the refiners whenever they are over-stocked, have nothing to do but to send to the bank any overplus, then they keep the remainder to sell to foreigners who may be returning to different parts of the world ; what goes into the Bank of England they can get back again at a small advance. A gold and silversmith, if he has an order, may get an hundred ounces, or any quantity upwards, of gold from the bank, so that that keeps the value of bullion as close as necessary to the standard of coin.
Do you conceive that the variation is greater here than in London ?â€”Yes, it is; for it must be so much lower, when there is an overplus in the market, as the expense of sending it over amounts to. If the Bank of England had a branch here for the purchase and sale of bullion, supposing it to be the case that the Bank of Ireland are prevented purchasing, it might be found very useful.
What advantage would the Bank of England derive from that ?â€”I do not speak of the advantage to the Bank of England, though of course they must derive a profit from their purchases in London, but I speak of it as being of advantage to Dublin.
Have you any idea what amount of bullion or coin there would be for sale in that way in Dublin in a year ?â€”I cannot state that; but I am sure that if it was certainly known that there was a place of the kind here, a great deal of that which now goes to Liverpool would come to Dublin.
Why should Dublin be preferred to Liverpool ?â€”I do not say that it would be preferred; but in Liverpool they go within a farthing an ounce, for the transmission of it is so much less from Liverpool to London. I have sent over various coins to London for the purpose of seeing what I could get for them, in order to establish a rate that I could give to any foreigners with very little more difference than the carriage to London.
Do you send bullion to London directly by water, or through Holyhead ?â€”I send it by the Holyhead mail; but I intend to ascertain whether I cannot have it sent much cheaper by the new packet from Kingstown to Liverpool. I should hope there will be established rates for it.
There is no inconvenience arising to your trade from the mode of collecting the duty ?â€” Not the smallest.
I beg to remark, that connected with the last question, I might have observed, that there appears to be a hardship on the trade, by requiring both the shopkeepers, and the workmen, who manufacture for them, to take out a licence.
Conclusions to follow.